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tv   NOW With Alex Wagner  MSNBC  November 22, 2013 9:00am-10:01am PST

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president obama placed the blame squarely on republican obstructionists. >> it's not a time for celebrati celebration. it's a time for being serious. the obstruction we've seen for president obama has reached new heights never dreamed of. >> a deliberate effort to obstruct everything, no matter what the merits, just to refight the results of an election is not normal. for the sake of future generations, we can't let it become normal. the american people deserve better than politicians who run telling them how terrible government is and devote their time in office to try to make it not work as much as possible. >> republicans responded with threats, schoolyard taunts. warned a spokesperson for majority leader mitch mcconnell. i'm looking forward to president
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rubio stacking the courts. and junior senator from kentucky rand paul. >> we need anti-bullying. harry reid says he's going to break the rules and make new rules. he's got to have everything his way, control everything. basically he's become the dictator of the senate. >> indeed the rule change will have repercussions that will extend well beyond the tenure of harry reid and president obama. while they have a mix of relief and concern there is one thing to herald as ezra klein writes in the "washington post." today political system changed rules to work more smoothly. if american politics is to avoid collapsing and complete disfups in the years to come, more changes like this will likely be needed. joining me nbc capitol hill correspondent luke russert and here with me on set in new york editor and chief of buzz feed ben smith, washington bureau
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chief of the "huffington post" ryan grim and host of msnbc "hardball." congress has been giving the best foundation for book purchasing, your book in specific. >> dysfunction is the name of the game right now. >> what's your reaction. >> everybody goes to their usual battle stations every time something happens. you see rand paul talking about being bullied. that's the name of his book. he's always talking about being bullied. the senate has not operated with discernment and discretion. there were appropriate time to filibuster, perhaps even health care because it's a big deal and maybe there should be a supermajority. when you take the judgeships and accusations against the president, how dare he pick judges he likes. that's an extraordinary claim -- criticism. you elect presidents to have a role picking judges.
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over they pick the judges. they don't always get it right. warren turned out to be a liberal, another a conservative. one thing is presidents can't read minds. >> right. >> i think they got to the point you don't have to filibuster, just derail legislation, put holds on things. to me the worst case was ted cruz over the summer saying there will be no meeting of the budget committees. >> nothing. >> then a government shutdown was easily engineered on the that point. there's so many things wrong today. why do they have weekly luncheons, partisanship, not legislation. used to be the chairs of the committee led the legislative discussions in a fairly bipartisan way. the chairs made decisions. now it's the parties make decisions. the decision if you're an opposition party is no. >> look, i've got to ask you standing as you are on capitol
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hill, "the washington post" in an he had tarle said this radical action, the nuclear option, a product of poisonous partisanship will be an accelerant of poisonous partisanship. there's been a lot of postgame analysis today that said if it was broken yesterday it will be more broken in the future, which is cause for consternation. what does this mean practically for upcoming negotiations on the budget, for the employment and nondiscrimination act, any possibility of immigration reform? >> well, there's i guess school of thought that says republicans are so upset by this action they refuse to negotiate on issues going forward. i don't buy that the senate in terms of large scale legislation had been working desly well over the last few months with the immigration bill. you saw enda put to a vote. where you will see a change what
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the president does on pennsylvania avenue in terms of executive orders and how those move through regulatory agencies now that he has the power to appoint who he wants, has the d.c. circuit court in his pocket with 7-4 margin. that will help him with environmental rules, things of that nature. it's interesting. while republicans are acting quite angry about this, they know there will be a day when there's a republican president, they know there will be a day when there's a republican senate. lets be honest, guys, who plays hardball at a higher level? >> other than chris matthews, the republican party. >> republicans know their day will come. while they are screaming about this, i've spoken to them privately and they said it's tough to take, but at the end of the day we're going to do it better, more hard core than democrats dreamed of. >> two things. jonathan makes a point, nothing on the president's agenda was going to happen legislatively.
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everything has to go through the judiciary. that's why there was so much interest in and around appointments given the fact they were dealing with epa and dodd/frank financial legislation. this is going to be the legacy of obama's second term. >> they work together. that's the accusation republicans are making that what this will allow him to do is to put partisans in place and regulatory acsis who will write rules rubber stamped by the d.c. circuit court. i think that frame is more or less right depending on how you want to phrase it. >> where your politics are. >> that's basically right. what it allows them to do is remove folks and get people in there. ed demarco oversees federal housing finance through the white house want to get rid of for a long time can be pushed aside because mel watt can get through the senate. i think when they named mel watt, i don't know if they ever actually expected him to get confirmed. now they are in this weird place
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they will get mel watt. >> mel watt is no longer a suggestion. >> mel watt is going to do some things to make people unhappy. he will probably make it easier for boriers to refinance their loans, which is not good for a lot of investors who have a lot of friends in the white house as well. >> in the interim, chris, i go back to you on this. in the interim i feel like this nuclear option will be used as a cudgel against the administration by folks in the tea party and on the radical right, overstepping power, tyranny of majority kind of guy. he doesn't listen to the other side. this will then -- i feel like this is a narrative, may be inaccurate. >> i think it's part of the theme of the hard right. liberty, the term is used all the time, that word. i think they had this idea. their ideological battle is
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there, the african background adds to it, the fact he's a democrat. these are all part of it. it's like he's worse than a clinton. from the day he arrived he's been a problem. even though, you know, he picked hillary clinton who is a centrist for state. he picked kerry, he's not a leftie. he picked hagel, a centrist. his foreign policy tough as nails in terms of nailing terrorism. they can't really complain about that. he has tried to bring us out of the wars we got stuck in. he's not a jimmy carter, not a passivist. he's a dove, doesn't want to go to war with iran. most americans don't want to go to war with iran, because is an unending war, many facets we can't predict. spending, what started the tea party republican grassroots people, even though they elected w, common sense conservative, he wouldn't veto, just spend money. wait a minute, no control left here. that to me is a reasonable case
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for the grassroots anger and frustration which led to the tea party movement. the tactics employed, that's come from the top. the people haven't said shut down the government, it's people like cruz and rand paul. my argument, there's a real urge to get control of finances. the democrats have not taken seriously, probably never have. then you've got -- it's true. you're laughing but they never have. >> the president put reforms to medicaid -- medicare and social security on the table. >> he also has said i'll do it if you do your thing. i'll show mine if you show yours. i can remember in the '70s working for ed muskie, one of the real responsible people whereby mai 15th they had the rules followed. they had a bipartisan budget with republicans led by henry bellman on the minority side, ranking member there for oklahoma. ed muskie had a bipartisan budget with all the governmental functions ascribed their spending levels outlay, budget authority, deficit, outlay and
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revenue number by may 15th for the subsequent october 1st. so there could be appropriations passed all summer. then they had a second budget resolution locking it all in. they used to obey their own rules. when i say senate dysfunction, a bunch of senators four years didn't pass a budget. that's totally irresponsible. with respect theibilitiability. >> lets be clear. once they passed it they didn't want -- >> afraid they might do something on the debt ceiling. >> to what has happened in the senate, i think it is more a story of the republican party and the transformation of the republican party. >> becoming a house party. >> having the ted cruzes and marco rubio,ous groups, heritage action scoring important votes and also, you know, we don't have -- there are no more olympia snows, ted stephens. >> rules built for an earlier time when partisanship was not
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as intense and more people willing to negotiate. these rules genuinely don't work with either side in power in this particular moment. rules are quite weird. most governments in the world function with simple majorities in one house much less three. i think really interesting is what going to happen when one party controls. the senate has been able to get some stuff done relatively speaking. the real sort of wall right now is the republican house. we're not really going to see the real repercussions until one party controls all three branches. >> when are we going to get that? >> could be a republican president in 2016. that is the earliest possible. >> luke, i want to ask you in terms of the supreme court -- >> is that your best bet. >> just a statement. >> could be a while. >> luke, in terms of the supreme court carve out. chuck grassley was saying, well, we're going to use the scalia
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option, the threat, threatening to expand nuclear option to encompass supreme court appointments. how likely is that if republicans gain power? how much are they talking about that on capitol hill. >> that's certainly an option thrown out there. alex, i think if you want to look towards the tactics used by gop, look no further than last government shutdown and lead up to the debt limit in 2011 and 2013. they have no problem playing the hardest of hardball as i mentioned earlier. would that shock me if presumably you have a president christie who wants to bolster right flank, supreme court justice upsets republicans, upsets democrats, republican senate and they hammer it through. i'll say this in 2013, that wouldn't shock me in any way, shape, or form. >> clarence thomas got in with less than 60. >> scalia, what did he have, 93. those were different times, different years many moons ago.
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luke russert, happy thanksgiving to you, our favorite pilgrim. >> thank you so much. take care. >> half a century has passed of the question still resonates, where were you. look back at the kennedy assassination 50 years laeg when tom brokaw joins us next on "now." so you're telling me your mom has a mom cave? hi boys! i've made you campbell's chunky new england clam chowder. wow! this is incredible! i know. and now it has more clams! [ male announcer ] campbell's chunky soup. what?
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at approximately this time 50 years november 22nd, 1963, president john f. kennedy boarded "air force one" en route to dallas, texas, where an hour later he would be assassinated in dealey plaza. america was locked in a bitter cold war with the soviet union. 16,000 u.s. troops were stationed in vietnam. 200,000 americans had just marched on washington.
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then the death of the president. earlier that day, president kennedy delivered a final speech at the texas hotel in ft. worth. >> so this country, which desires only to be tree, which desires to be secure, which desires to live in peace for 18 years under three different administrations has borne more than its share of the burden, stood watch for a number of years. i don't think we are for the eagled or tired. we would like to live as we once lived. history will not permit it. we are still the keystone in the arch of freedom and we will continue to do as we have done in the past, our duty and the people of texas will be in the lead. so i'm glad to come. >> three and a half hours after giving that speech, president kennedy was shot. shortly after he was declared dead and even today decades after it happened americans can still recall exactly what they
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were doing when they heard the terrible news. in a new nbc news documentary, tom brokaw asks the question, "where were you?" >> i was in my calculus class. my fourth period advanced math class. i was a senior in high school. it was right after lunch. i heard my teacher, answered the phone, was ashen faced and came in and said the president was shot. >> what did you think? >> i was heart broken. he was hoping he would live. >> know steven spielberg was a 16-year-old high school student and aspiring filmmaker. >> i was in school when the public address system came on in the classroom. we listened to the principal
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saying that the president had been shot. >> what did you think? >> i was -- the first reaction i had was i wanted to go home. i wanted to go home and be with my mom and dad and sisters. my mom was in the kitchen, sobbing at the kitchen table. >> it just seemed so impossible that this great president, who was so adored by the world, was dead. it's like everything became unsafe and never has been ever since quite as sure about the world. it shook my world view. >> joining me now nbc special correspondent tom brock ow who has been reporting extensively on the 50th anniversary of jfk's death and wrote the forward to the new book "where were you?
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america remembers the jfk assassination." hardball chris matthews, author of "jack kennedy, elusive hero." you've talked to great american minds and heroes about where they were when he was assassinated. where were you? >> i was in omaha, nebraska, first year of my job as morning news editor. had to do three "today" show cut-ins, write the noon news and do part of them. it was a long day. at about 12:30 i was cleaning all the bills and the teletype machine started going crazy. i wandered over there and read that memorable merriman smith first bulletin dictated from the motorcade, shots fired at the presidential motorcade, the president perhaps fatally wounded. and i stood there staring at that thinking this doesn't happen in america. by the time we got on the air,
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we knew how grave it was and we knew he was dead. the network would give back to the local stations an hour of local programming. so we had responsibility for omaha. the network got up and got its act together and they were able to tell people. i want to strategic headquarters to see what kind of alert they were on. i couldn't get near the place. i went downtown. midwestern were meeting, mitt romney's father came out. he was very appropriate. it changed my life. >> it changed the cowher course of history, chris. for those of us who weren't alive during the kennedy administration, we don't have a sense of how much energy was behind this first couple, what kennedy represented to the nation. robert carrow has a great in the book, "one minute it was eisenhower era, people interested in materialism and making money. then jack kennedy made these speeches and all of a sudden everyone wanted to go to harvard
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business school. the next minute everyone wanted to go to the peace corps or work for bobby kennedy's justice department. he appealed to america's appeals. you signed up for the piece corps. >> first of all, the term '60s does not refer to tenure of '6 1, '62. the early '60s madmen, cigarettes, cocktail, girls, old style macho culture, sexist, i guess you'd say. after jack there was this pall over the country, in a bad news, sad. then the beatles came along, an elixir. but it didn't change things. we tried to make ourselves happy after '63. sure they were getting stronger. we hadn't beaten them, they might have beaten us. early thin ties, short hair. work ethics. no screwing around, flower children.
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kennedy was a hawk. that's my biggest problem with oliver stone. he has a good complaint he didn't like vietnam war under johnson, blames him for everything, including having a hand in kennedy's death, which is an absurdity. we didn't have anti-government, but civil rights. we keep forgetting how many were turned on by civil rights, peter, paul, mary in a soft way, bob dylan in a hard way. it was never clearly joyous as a country as it was before he was killed. >> certainly halcion days for america, civil rights question was a real one. there's a sense -- sam tanehouse talks about the electric undercurrent of discontent that was palpable in and around the time kennedy was shot. dallas was a very dangerous place to be at that moment. >> dallas didn't have anything to do with the assassination was
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the interesting thing. this lone miss that went to russia. he was a far left guy, not a far right guy. it's hard to untangle. chris is right, the early part of the '60s had nothing to do with what we think of the '60s. my strong impression is, yes, the assassination did change us. there's no question about that. they do have a mass of people saying i've had it with institutions and the government as it stands. i don't think that was the case. the boomers were quite young when he was assassinated. they pushed back in part because their fathers came home from war with a regimented idea how life should be lived. mom should be home. dad should be out making a living. drugs were very bad for you. they had a lot of money to spend on whatever they wanted to spend it on. they pushed back and said we're not going to stand in line the way earlier generations v it was a mix of all those things. the big -- i think chris would agree with this. the big change with kennedy was he was perfectly cast as a president in the television age.
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television was in every living room, the primary instrument where we got the news. people connected. i thought, i was 20 at the time, this would go on forever. it ended with his assassination. we went back to johnson, nixon, a reversal of what seemed to be a clear track to the future. >> kennedy was not the only assassination, malcolm x, bobby kennedy, a series, cascade of events. we talk about the kennedy assassination being the 9/11 for a certain generation insofar as the tide shifted. it is important to keep in context this was a wave of events that took america's innocence in a lot of ways. >> you've got to remember the patty hearst, judge jackson in california. we had a form of anarchy going on in a lot of america and the
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urban riots in the north all rooted in race and poverty. so this place was coming apart. you couldn't say the root cause was kennedy, there were lots of elements that played into this. >> what i like about politics is its unpredictable nature and phenomenal nature of politics. i've been reading as you have for your generation, how did jack kennedy get from being the rich kid who could have had had a pretty good life. he did have a good life obviously. where did the june civil rights speech come from. going on the air in a matter of hours. i watched the crisis. you have a speech ready, bobby? we have one. we don't have a speech ready. he gets on and says civil rights is as old as the scriptures, as american as the constitution. every black family in america put his face up on the wall. all of a sudden you had a white guy who was committed almost from doctrine, day one, i am a civil rights advocate.
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then even this he didn't get it through and have the public passion like bobby did later on, i love digging into the tapes and finding out he's fighting with dick daly to get him in line or going to billy green in philly and trying to get them in line, working moderate republicans. the great new book coming out, i've been reading it, how he was a working pal for good causes right to the end, to the point of being in the car that morning with conley and jim wright trying to figure out how he's still going to carry texas being a civil rights guy. where did that come from? where did the peace corps come from? was it humphreys idea? he did it the way nobody else would. the moon shoot. everybody had something to do with the moonshot but he did it, in 10 years. >> rhetorically a huge sense of the presidency and what it many. in that speech we played, the last speech he made. he says we're still the keystone in the arch of freedom.
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these lines -- only kennedy could give them. >> behind the scenes he was saying to bobby and others you can't believe how screwed up this place is. they were very tough on the people around him. there were other things. we think of him as this well oiled machine. he never met mcnamara before he made him secretary. it was an all white male eastern administration. republican, secretary of treasury. bobby was his closest confidante. as time went on, his circle got smaller and smaller. he was listening more to bobby. chiefs out of world war ii were ready to declare war on the world. they would have bombed castro in the first 15 seconds of the cuban missile crisis. it's a lot more complicated than it looks from the outside, good and bad. i conclude the day he was assassinated his presidency was still a work in progress and that he had really reached an
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point where it would carry him through barry goldwater. my guess it would have but we'll never know. >> nobody knows. up um the ft. worth speech that morning he was a hawk itself. he said if we leave that country, it falls together tomorrow. he was publicly a hawk. then you hear kenny o'donnell or mansfield say he would have gotten us out of the war, but they caveat by saying after the '64 election. clearly he was trying to figure it out. he let it slide. he focused on other issues and let vietnam drain away without any real focus on it. he didn't have a plan. >> the analysis of what could have been, what he would have done i think does not end on this 50th anniversary or 50 years hence. tom brokaw, an honor and pleasure to have you on the show. thank for your time. the two hour special, "where
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were you the day jfk died" tom brokaw airs tonight. thanks to my friend and colleague chris matthews, my hero. >> i'll be watching tonight. it will be great. >> i've been trailing chris around the country. >> he's elusive. >> draft on his expertise and commentary. >> you can watch two specials hosted by chris tonight. >> but they are only preliminary. 7:00 to 8:00. >> jfk, the day that changed america. 8:00 p.m., the kennedy brothers, a hardball documentary. thank you both for your time. coming up any progress to be made in the latest round of talks over the nuclear program? not if you listen to the rhetoric out of tehran. live to geneva for the latest on the negotiations just ahead.
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how far apart is each side
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in the nuclear negotiations in iran. the latest from these talks live in geneva. that's next on "now." i started part-time, now i'm a manager.n. my employer matches my charitable giving. really. i get bonuses even working part-time. where i work, over 400 people are promoted every day. healthcare starting under $40 a month. i got education benefits. i work at walmart. i'm a pharmacist. sales associate. i manage produce. i work in logistics. there's more to walmart than you think. vo: opportunity. that's the real walmart.
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as "l. a. times" reports accepting such conditions would be a major concession for the united states andist negotiating partners. iran's leader, ayatollah khomeini said iran would slap aggressors in the face and called israel the rabid dog forcing secretary of state john kerry to reassure a skeptical congress that diplomacy remains a viable option. >> it's inflammatory and unnecessary. i think at this moment when we're trying to negotiate and figure out what can and can't be achieved, the last thing we needs are names and back and forth. >> yesterday majority leader harry reid would support diplomatic efforts for now, the administration would be given a finite window about a month to close a deal. >> we all strongly support those negotiations and hope they will succeed. however, mr. president, we're also aware of the possibility
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that iranians could keep negotiations from succeeding. preparing to move forward with bipartisan iran sanctions bill when senate returns after thanksgiving recess. >> sergey lavrov flew to geneva to jump-start the talks which are expected to extend into the weekend. joining me from geneva, nbc bureau chief ali arouzi. seems like the forces opposing the agreement are stronger than the ones pushing for one. >> well, alex, it's very difficult to tell where they are in the agreement right now. both sides have been very tight-lipped with the press. they are not giving any press conferences which is unusual. past experience shows us the less press conferences they give, the less they tell us, the more intense the negotiations are and they may be making headway. both sides say progress made, gaps narrowed but still major disputes. what those disputes are we don't
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know right now but we can speculate with things that came up with the past, the arak has become a problem. iranians don't want to close that. they want more sanctions relief than offered. americans releasing $10 billion of funds iranians have frozen abroad. these are becoming sticking points but they do seem to be making headway. the real proof in the pudding will be if secretary kerry arrives here. if he arrives here it shows a deal is imminent. he will come to sign something. he came last time and negotiated with iranians 30 hours more than they negotiated for 30 years and they weren't able to sign a deal. i don't think he wants to come here and not be able to sign anything. they are in intense negotiations. what's been odd here is there has been very few bilateral negotiations examine iranians and americans. most has been headed off by european foreign policy chief
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katherine ashton to less confuse matters around the negotiating table. yes, things are very intense and obviously spilling bought weekend now. it was meant to wrap up tonight and negotiations are certainly going to go into tomorrow. so there may be a result here. people are speculating cautiously that an interim agreement, a six-month stopgap agreement could be agreed to here and a wider agreement, a more permanent agreement could be settled on. alex. >> ali, you are the tehran bureau chief, i ask you, what is the view from iran. who is a better mouthpiece for piece, come many or hassan rouhani. we have a sense iran is at a crossroads, if you will. you know the country better than most of us on the outside. where do you feel the feelings of the iranian people, who is bess expressing them.
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>> reporter: i can tell you iranian people for the most part wants a deal. rouhani is the buck stops here, the be all, end all. he made an inflammatory speech before negotiations. when i was talking to people in iran, they suddenly became very concerned a deal was now off because he had been so inflammatory. people were very desperate for a deal to happen in iran. they are suffering great economic hardship there, currency completely devalued. every day goods have gone through the roof. what's worst of all forth iranian people, i think, they have become a pariah around the world and they don't like that. iranians want to come in from the cold and join the world community again. people are desperate for a deal to come through. they are glued to tv sets waiting for news. people really wanted to come through but they are worried. alex. >> nbc's ali arouzi, thank you for the update. coming up as the nation remembers john f. kennedy today,
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we will look back at his legacy and the hope that was when historian jon meacham joins us just ahead.
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at approximately this time 50 years ago president kennedy landed in dallas and exited with first lady jackie kennedy. an hour later their presidential limousine would drive through downtown dallas and pass the school book depository where lee harvey oswald was waiting and the world would change. after the break, president kennedy was an inspiring and untimely leader, his untimely death left the country at a crossroads. unfinished business and the
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kennedy legacy when author jonathan meacham joins us next. and it feels like your lifeate revolves around your symptoms, ask your gastroenterologist about humira adalimumab. humira has been proven to work for adults who have tried other medications but still experience the symptoms of moderate to severe crohn's disease. in clinical studies, the majority of patients on humira saw significant symptom relief, and many achieved remission. humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal events, such as infections, lymphoma, or other types of cancer, have happened. blood, liver and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions, and new or worsening heart failure have occurred. before starting humira, your doctor should test you for tb. ask your doctor if you live in or have been to a region where certain fungal infections are common. tell your doctor if you have had tb, hepatitis b, are prone to infections, or have symptoms such as
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no figure looms as large in the american imagination as john f. kept, yet many have commented on the irony despite 40,000 books written about him kennedy remains the elusive president. a life cut short left historians debating many what ifs of kennedy's legacy. mainly would he have adopted the same course in vietnam. could he have achieved the same landmark civil rights victories as his successor. on civil rights, the burning issue of the day, on that kennedy was late. historic vans for minorities were achieved by his successor yet it was kennedy who put civil rights on the agenda, who sent
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troops to the south to enforce immigration and made it a moral issue at no small political cost pt the fact jfk couldn't enact legislation owes to a dynamic more characteristics of these times says kennedy historian, his legislative held hodge, saw his reforms as a threat to racial segregation. joining us jon meacham, author of "thomas jefferson the art of power." it's great to have you on the program and talk about history, especially presidential history. what do you make of his assessment that kennedy was a civil rights champion and sort of an unsung one at that insofar as he really laid the foundation in a way that he was fundamental in terms of passing the actual legislation. >> it was. in fact, you can go back to the 1960 campaign when harris
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wofford and some liberals quibsed him to call coretta scott king after dr. king had been imprisoned in the south, which was a remarkable moment shifting allegiances for many african-americans fairly reliable republican voters to the democratic party. it began a shift that continued after the tragedy of dallas and into the 1960s. ening one of the tragedies of dallas, if not the central one, besides the human crisis it provoked obviously, john kennedy was learning how to be a great are the. he came in not particularly prepared for the office. he was a young man, 43 years old. in april of 1961 he authorizes bay of pigs invasion of cuba, which is a total disaster. he said himself in a parliamentary system i would have had to resigned. he called dwight eisenhower to come to camp david and eisenhower asked him a critical question that every president since would be well advised to
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ask, which is did you have a meeting with everyone involved? did you ask all the questions? kennedy admitted he hadn't. in october 1962 when we came as close as we ever have to nuclear armageddon, what did he do? a 13-day running meeting where he deliberated the issues and came out on the other side of the most -- what was called the most dangerous hour in human history. he was learning how to do this. the tragedy of today is what we lost in the sense of a very bright man who understood history and wanted to make a difference. >> you know, ryan, we talk about the kennedy era as this sort of halcion, rosy time, when we had a functioning congress and we had this great leader who
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recei recei rhetoricaly was learning the ropes on stage. his life tragically cut short, unsung hero on some things and probably overestimated on others. we talk about the dysfunction in congress that kennedy faced. i feel like it's almost a bomb to people like you and me who didn't know president kennedy and report and talk about the current political lan escape that we live in and how dysfunctional it is. really, america has been grappling with big issues for a long time. partisanship is not something new to the 21st century. >> he did one legislative thing right, which is worth mentioning in light of the filibuster reform yesterday, which is he basically changed the way the rules committee operates in the house leading up to 1960 so there wouldn't be this force of obstruction in the house which allowed him to get a bunch of his stuff through there. he was totally jammed up in the senate. his agenda was finished when he
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was killed. he couldn't get his tax cut through. he couldn't get civil rights through. it was really his death and the way johnson exploited that, national speeches after that that kind of allowed it to get through. also johnson knew how to work with the senate. he brought in the finance committee chairman and said, you know, what do you need to get this tax cut through? if i remember, he said something like i need the budget to be under $100 billion. he's like, fine. >> johnson was a political animal in that sense. >> we'll make that happen if you give me the tax cut. kennedy was not in that nitty-gritty legislative style. he hadn't been able to make that happen. >> the mud of politics. the way kennedy framed the issues of the moment, not only his moral stance on civil rights, ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country, the peace corps as it is in the 20th
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century and parts of the 21th, kennedy owns that. i feel like that spirit would be pleasant if our politicians could return to that given the vilification in the modern era. >> two things. he saw politics as a noble profession. should have and is. it's the only way we have to conduct our public business. depends on politicians, makers and mirrors of the rest of us. he understood that. he loved politics. you listen to the kennedy tapes. you talked to him. you read what he did. he was always trying to get somebody in line. he enjoyed it. he savored it and believe in the possibilities of the country. the best honor we can pay him is continue that conviction? >> indeed, especially at the end of the week like this, believing in the possibilities of this country seems like a good way to end this show which we must do now. jon meacham, thank you for your
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time and thoughts and thank you for hanging with me through this. joy reid will be in for me monday noon eastern, "andrea mitchell reports" picks up special coverage honoring president john facilitate kennedy. she's coming up next. hi honey, did you get the toaster cozy? yep. got all the cozies. [ grandma ] with new fedex one rate, i could fill a box and ship it for one flat rate. so i knit until it was full. you'd be crazy not to. is that nana? [ male announcer ] fedex one rate. simple, flat rate shipping with the reliability of fedex.
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now there's new glucerna advance with three benefits in one. [ male announcer ] new glucerna advance. from the brand doctors recommend most. >> and november 22nd, 1963, 50 years ago today, at this very hour president kennedy and mrs. kennedy just touched down at love field. they were greet bid a friendly crowd. as their motorcade reached dountown dallas
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